Voyage to A City Resplendent with Turkish Delights
Truly one of the world’s great cities, Istanbul is supremely exotic, warmly welcoming, and utterly unique. After all, where else can you tour Europe and Asia on the very same afternoon?
But trust us, you’re going to need longer than an afternoon to visit all the must-sees on Istanbul’s list: Hagia Sophia, once the greatest church in Christendom for 1,000 years; Topkapi Palace, the stunning “home” of sultans; the iconic Blue Mosque; the 6th century Basilica Cistern…and those are just some of the sites located around Sultanahmet Square!
Of course no trip to Istanbul would be complete without a shopping trip to the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world. Dating back to 1461, its 5,000+ shops and 60 streets offer everything from jewelry and ceramics to spices and teas, and yes, carpets (be they magic or otherwise).
And the food? Well, the Turkish delights awaiting you are just too numerous to mention, but here’s a delicious start: kebaps, doner, kofte, pilav, and assorted mezzes, plus manti, lahmacun, borek, pide, and dolma. (No matter what you try, be sure to finish with some honey-laced baklava and Turkish coffee or mint tea for dessert.)
This magnificent mosque is a truly marvellous architectural achievement, with six distinctive minarets, Byzantine ivory work, grand domes and its interior gleaming with 20,000 tiles, shimmering in the reflection of the sun.
Serving the Ottoman Sultans for over three centuries, this former imperial palace is now a museum. See the Topkapi Diamond, gold, jade, and other historical treasures in the Imperial Treasury.
Istanbul, Turkey At a glance